Learn Asahi Series No. 1 and its many medical benefits

An extremely simple, slow moving, but effective health exercise developed in Finland, available for the first time in Duluth! Asahi was designed to be safe for people of all ages, all sizes and in all states of health. This course will be taught in a standing position, but all the exercises can be adapted to a sitting or horizontal position as well.

Once upon a time...

The story behind Asahi:
After injuring themselves in a practice for the umpteenth time, two of Finland’s toughest, foremost martial arts teachers limped off to a bar for a beer. “Why do we keep doing this to ourselves?” one asked the other. “Why not develop a method with all the same health benefits, but with no risk of injury, no religious or mystical ceremony and one that would be easy and inexpensive enough for anyone to practice?” So they did, with the help of two other tough martial arts experts - an internist & geriatric specialist, and a university physical education & mindfulness teacher. Their lives changed as they became champions of slow, soft mindful exercise. The year was 2004 and the result was the streamlined mind-body practice Asahi, designed for people of the modern world. In 2015 two of the developers set up the Asahi Nordic Association to promote high quality Asahi education in Finland. In 2020 they went on to found The Nordic Health Institute to ensure that this same high level of Asahi instruction be made available abroad through live workshops and online courses. The developers may never have imagined that in 2021 there would be more than a thousand Asahi teachers in Finland and a rapidly growing number all around the world - in Estonia, Greece, Germany, Sweden and in the US.  Since Asahi can be done standing, sitting or in a prone position, it has proven to be safe for people with heart disease, joint replacements, weight issues, special needs, and for pregnant women. It is also a great restorative practice for athletes. The Asahi method improves balance, coordination, muscle tone, concentration and lowers stress and blood pressure - a good antidote for the ill-effects of the long lockdown and a way to boost immunity against possible new viruses.    


 I got to know a lot about Finland through the Finnish-American diaspora living in Michigan's Upper Peninsula as a college student. When I went on a Bicentennial Tour of Finland with the NMU Arts Chorale in 1976, I got off the tour bus and stayed in Finland after after the last concert. That didn't seem like a "foreign" idea to me, although the rest of the choir was a little shocked. I ended up staying, studying, marrying and raising a family on a farm in Central Finland and working as an organist/choral director for more than 30 years. 

When I was introduced to the Finnish health exercise Asahi about 10 years ago, I knew it would be the perfect warmup for my choirs. Soon it became my personal practice as well, because, as much as I still enjoy doing all kinds of yoga, there are many days a week that it just doesn't fit in the schedule. Asahi is so easy to take along anywhere when traveling, since it requires no special clothing, equipment, or mat. In 2012 I started training to become an Asahi teacher and in June 2021 became the first female and the first American head coach of Asahi. While serving for four years as an organist to the Finnish congregation in Rhodes, Greece, I introduced Asahi there and realized what a wonderful place Rhodes is, because it's possible to practice Asahi outdoors year round. Now groups of Finnish people come to Rhodes yearly to participate in Asahi health vacations. 

Launching a retirement career as a free-lance Asahi coach with no previous business skills has been one of the biggest challenges in my life. I realized that if I want to reach people who have never heard of Asahi and don't even realize they might benefit from it, I was going to have to start doing "conscious marketing." Now I have the chance to come back to the States to offer Asahi workshops around the Midwest, including Marquette, MI, the home of my Alma Mater, NMU, so the circle is closing. 

Asahi moves in spirals, and so does life, apparently!   

(BA in Music ‘76 Northern Michigan University, MA in Music History 2000 Jyväskylä University, Asahi Nordic Certified A1 Instructor 2018, European Yoga League 4-year training completed 2018, Conscious Marketing (Sounds True) 2021, Asahi Nordic A2 Certification 2021.) 

Martin Ulrich

 German Evangelical Pastor in Rhodes

Practicing Asahi has increased my coordination, flexibility, balance and muscle tone. I can see improvement after after every Asahi session, and this motivates me to keep practicing. Thank you! (Martin is the tall one in the middle!)

 Live Asahi Workshops in the USA - Autumn 2022
with Head Coach Margaret Vainio
Sept. 19, 6:30-8 pm at Free United Methodist Church, Duluth, MN
Sept. 22, 4:30-6 pm at Center for Performing Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Sept. 26-29 at the Christine Center in Willard, WI register here

Asahi Moves Me


  • suggested $10 donation